Being a landlord is never easy, and even though renting out a space you own can be a great method for some passive income, there are a lot of issues you need to be aware of. Your experience may vary according to who is renting your property, and no one can tell you that it will go swimmingly all the time. However, the real trick is to structure the process to the best of your abilities and to make sure everyone is on the same page.
This is especially important during the end of a tenancy when your current tenants are vacating the premises, and you need to make sure everything is in top shape for the next ones. In this guide, we’re going to walk you through a checklist of what you, our proud landlord, should do at the end of a tenancy making the process as smooth as possible.
Always Be Prepared
The moving out process of any tenancy relies on making sure the tenant sticks to the contract the both of you have signed beforehand and leaves you with as little to do as possible. You can’t control everything, and problems do pop up. But if you communicate frequently and make sure everything is in order beforehand, the moving out process will not be as much of a hassle as you’d think.
Of course, having all the details is key. The tenant’s information (name, phone number, etc.) as well as ensuring you’ve agreed upon how long a notice should be given is vital. Before the agreed-upon removal date, make sure you talk to your tenants and confirm whether they intend to leave or continue renting.
Having an inventory prepared before you rent the property out is also vital. During the time of tenancy, it’s good practice to keep notes on what was fixed or any other issues that might have popped up during the term.
You also want to make sure that you receive a clean property. In most cases, tenants would want to save a little cash and do the cleaning themselves. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t come to them with recommendations of professional cleaners. If you’re renting in major cities, like London, there are a plethora of professionals to choose from. You can suggest some of the best end of tenancy cleaning London has to offer, especially if this is a point you have agreed upon beforehand with your tenants. Either way, your next step will prove whether or not the professional help has paid off.
Once you’ve confirmed when your tenants are moving out, the next step should be to conduct a walk-through inspection of the property. This is where your inventory is important, and if you have any photographs or documents related to your last inspection, bring them along.
Here’s a checklist of what you need to do.
1. Confirm the inspection date
This can be done by phone, email, or personally. Whichever the case, make sure you choose a time that is convenient for you and the tenant because an inspection should not be rushed.
2. Inspection of living areas and bedrooms
- Make sure that the flooring, walls, and ceiling do not have any faults, cracks or hammered in nails that weren’t there before.
- Make sure the paint job has not been ruined, and if your tenants have younger children, that there aren’t any creative artistic drawings left behind on the walls.
- Make sure all doors and windows are operating properly, hinges are not ruined, door knobs function properly, and wood is not chipped.
- Make sure that all the light fixtures are working, faulty bulbs have been replaced, and all electrical sockets are operational.
- Make sure that there is no missing piece of furniture.
- If there are carpets, inspect them to make sure they have not been torn or worn out in areas due to misuse.
- Couches and mattresses should be inspected thoroughly to make sure there are no tears, stains, or other signs of misuse.
- Television sets and other electronic equipment in any room should be tested.
- Make sure that the smoke detectors are working properly.
- Coffee tables and commodes should be checked for chipped wood, faulty drawers or the all-annoying coffee rings. If your tables have a glass top, make sure there are no cracks that might be hidden now, but would show up later and cause some serious injury.
3. Inspection of the Kitchen
- All faucets should be tested, and make sure they have both cold and hot running water.
- Countertops should be checked for damage.
- Make sure grease stains have not ruined the walls and would require you to repaint.
- All cabinets and drawers should be tested, making sure hinges and knobs are in order, as well as shelves.
- Check all electrical equipment and make sure they are working properly, whether coffee machines or microwaves.
- Check each burner on your stove, and test the oven, to make sure they are clean and working properly.
- Check that the refrigerator is clean and working properly.
- Check the dishwasher for molds in the door frame, which would indicate faulty seals and hoses. Make sure the dishwasher is working properly.
4. Inspection of the bathroom
Note that the bathroom can be tricky during an inspection. So be sure to take your time here.
- Check around the toilets in case there are any leaks.
- Check for broken tiles, especially in places that might be hidden from sight.
- Check the faucets and showerhead, and make sure the tub/shower drain properly.
- Check the mirror for cracks, and if there is a cabinet behind it, make sure the hinges work and the shelves are functional.
On the Day the Tenant Leaves
On the final day, make sure that you do one more sweep of the premises. Preferably, make sure your thorough inspection is done a day or two before vacating day. Once you are satisfied and have obtained a forwarding address from your tenant, collect all copies of the keys (and check that they still work), and discuss the security deposit. In most cases, it is best to return the deposit within 30 days of vacating the property, especially if there is maintenance to be done. In this case, make sure you send the deposit to the forwarding address along with copies of the bills.
And there you have it. An easy and hassle-free end of the tenancy for both you and the tenant. Always remember, you can never be one hundred percent sure of how well your tenants will care for your property. Come prepared, be ready for a thorough inspection, and always communicate clearly, so nothing gets lost in translation. At the end of the day, you want to rent out the space to the next tenants as quickly as possible, and following these tips and tricks, that is definitely going to be a sure thing!